Weather more like March than May and snow possible by Friday night for some in our area – freeze warnings already posted


UPDATE: 4:40 P.M. Friday: Rain is still pressing to the east but we still see snow developing in the mountains not long after sunset. Predictor shows the changeover even in eastern Nicholas County between 8-9 p.m.

UPDATE 7:45 A.M. Friday: New weather models continue to pour in with the notion of accumulating mountain snow. The road surface temperature model is also in for that time frame. The snow model does not take melting into accumulation so roads even in the high mountain areas should mainly be just wet except for Webster Springs to Snowshoe where road temps will be below freezing Saturday morning. The temperature of plant leaves however could be several degrees colder since they hold so much water so cover plants up or bring them inside Friday night.

Snow model output for Friday night / Saturday morning as of Thursday night late
Projected road temperatures Saturday morning

UPDATE 6:55 P.M. Thursday: Predictor model temperatures show many places with early morning temperatures on Saturday a few degrees below freezing. This is model output so the real temperature will vary, but these are also close to record low temperatures for this time of year. Please cover your plants or bring them indoors to keep them from problems due to cold air exposure. The Freeze Warning info can be found here:

UPDATE 2:45 P.M. Thursday – A Freeze Warning has already been issued for Friday night and Saturday morning for the entire area, proving how very cold things are expected to be. Take steps now to be prepared for avoiding plant damage.

UPDATE: Wednesday 11:35 p.m. – The Predictor Model output shows us a thin ribbon of gusty showers and storms coming across the area before the snow flies in the mountains on Friday. We will need to watch out Friday afternoon.

UPDATE: Wednesday 7:30 p.m. – The rest of the region has been added in to the Frost Advisory in SE Kentucky so everyone should take precautions to cover plants Wednesday night if you are worried about them getting damaged.

UPDATE Wednesday 3:30 p.m. – We have new Frost and Freeze Advisories for the region for Wednesday night and Thursday morning and we will likely need those again for Friday night and Saturday night.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – An accumulating late season snow is possible in the West Virginia high terrain on Friday while the rest of the area deals with occasional rounds of light to moderate rain and well below normal temperatures for the week.

Cold air will continue to circulate from northern regions into our area, causing daytime temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees below normal highs through the middle of next week. The normal high is around 72.

A series of cold air blasts will come in from the north and northwest and the flow is blocked to the east of us in the Northern Atlantic. This deflects large chunks of cold air from the polar areas and the resulting flow moves colder than normal air into the area.

Despite sunshine on Thursday, the cold air flow continues from the northwest keeping our area 8 to 10 degrees below normal highs

Light rain showers will float into the area once again Wednesday. For more discussion on that you can check out our current forecast page any time right here.

As for the rest of the week, a reinforcing cold bubble of air comes in along with an area of low pressure across the region on Friday, causing rain first then it will be cold enough for snow to form in areas especially above 3,000 feet in elevation but even a few areas lower than that can see snow mixing in.

Predictor model output for Friday night, showing snow in the high terrain of WV

While it’s too early to make a formal call of the possible amounts, and while the ground will be very warm, we can show you our modified summary of what the respected “European model” is trying to paint out as snow totals for late Friday night into Saturday morning when the system moves away.

Our “summary” of the ECMWF snow output for Friday night through early Saturday morning.

As for temperatures, we could see what we would hope to be our final freeze of the growing season if temperatures hit the 30 – 33 degree range as the Stormtracker 13 meteorologists think will happen in their initial forecast. The record lows for the same days seen below are 29F Thursday, 30F Friday, 28F Saturday and 26F Sunday, so we will be close to the record lows. Normal lows this time of year are around 51 degrees and the normal highs run around 72 degrees.

When was the latest snow in Charleston and Huntington? Our friends at NWS Charleston say it happened on May 7, 1989 in both towns as the latest snow we have seen! If we see flakes Friday that would be latest calendar date. Stay tuned!

Lows usually take place around 7 a.m. of the morning listed.

If we reach these lows there will be a need for frost and freeze advisories and people will need to take steps to protect their plants. While is it outside of the average last freeze date for many of us, as you can see from the graphic below, many areas still can see a last freeze through the middle to the end of May, usually based on their elevation. The word-of-mouth tradition for growers in terms of when it is safe to plant is that it’s OK to plant safely after Mother’s Day, which just happens to be this coming Sunday.

Average last freeze in the area by date from NWS Charleston

You can keep up to date with weather, current conditions, these blog posts, forecast videos, tons of weather data and more by getting our Stormtracker 13 weather app for free right here.

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